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michapma
08-16-2004, 06:51 AM
I started a new VVS fighter campaign this weekend, starting from June 22, 1941 in the L'vov, and implemented some of the campaign options, which I had never done before. Average flight distance is now set to 25km, avoiding some of those 70km flights (which I enjoy, although it limits campaign progress). I find it is almost too short, but it helps me get through the missions in the time I have. I also chose the number of missions to be Long instead of Very Long, since there often isn't enough variety in the missions to justify 30 missions or whatever per stage of the campaign. I chose my aircraft carefully too: when I get to a certain stage I will be one of the pilots trained to fly the Airacobra. I started out in the I-16, am now in a LaGG-3 and will fly a MiG-3 next. I will be flying various Yaks and Lavochkins in addition to the Airacobras. The more I learn about these aircraft and action on the front, the more alive it becomes, and the more I notice how detailed and historically faithful FB is. I tried to be conservative and not take the newest types as soon as they are available, but wait until I know those aircraft were historically present in significant numbers. I chose not to fly some of the rarer Western aircraft such as the P-40 and Spitfire.

The thing about the dynamic campaign is that the missions are often unimaginative. What helps counter this is that I'm flying with full difficulty (this is one thing TrackIR is definitely good for), which brings a lot of variation into the missions since I often don't understand who is who or what is going on until I'm "up close." I sometimes marvel at how much I have improved in situational awareness, spotting and identifying aircraft, and combat itself. I'm not a great combat pilot, but comparing myself to when I started out I'm far better. I do have the speed bar switched on for aircraft with a poor compass or difficult-to-read airspeed indicator (I also might switch it on to aid in combat if things get tight), and the no instant success is switched off, so that I can accept the outcome of any combat, aside from my own death or capture. I have also started myself as a Maior, so that I can select loadout and not have to follow the leader or fly in formation. (I really have to note the waypoints and target area well.) I even have turned the radio volume all the way down until I get the P-39 in 1943, since it was one of if not the first aircraft the VVS had that used a radio. I don't give wingman commands either unless I judge they are close enough to interpret aircraft signals (wing waggling, etc.) or hand signals, or to tell them to attack fighters or bombers, which could have been agreed upon before the mission. I'm not playing dead is dead, since I have been mostly flying pre-1944 stuff since FB came out, and want to get through the campagin. I have died several times, often from target fixation. Once I overcorrected with rudder on take-off, with the result that my wing collided against the wooden tower. I survived but restarted the mission anyway.

I had a rather fun mission in which our squadron transferred airfields to the south due to the front line movement, but in the rain. Just taking off was a trick with that wind. I took off behind another flight, and followed them in a steeply banked turn right after take-off, because I didn't want to lose sight in the soup--my plan was to follow them to the destination. We went around two full turns before I realized that all of the aircraft were trying to form up on me! So, I took the lead. Visibility was so poor that I had to fly under 700m in order to navigate against the map, and I could do almost nothing else but navigate and keep my ship upright--there is no artificial horizon in the LaGG-3. I followed rivers and forest on the relatively short flight, and spotted the town near the destination airfield, and then the concrete airstrip itself. As I curved around on approach, I saw the smoking remains of an aircraft that had crashed in the woods, and thought an AI had actually stalled out. I put her down fairly gently considering the weather, and taxied to place. As I swung around on the tarmac, I saw tracers, and realized there was a fight going on! Thankfully, no AI had chose me as a target. With the weather and visibility being what it was, I decided I would unlikely be able to take off and find the fight, much less navigate my way safely back to the airfield afterward. I should have tried it though.

Landings are always a big part of the fun on campaigns. I don't know what it is, but I love landings.

So the missions are quite enjoyable, since there is so much variability on full difficulty. As a Maior I take advantage and go off on my own tangents, not fretting about assigned waypoints. (My commanding officer is very understanding as long as I keep getting results.) However, there is a bit of repetition in missions, and the briefings, despite being informative, become terribly dull. Worse, for whatever reason no tracks play on occasion between missions or stages of the war.

I am fairly satisfied with the level of predictability of the AI, and they do surprise me once in a while. (I still hate those insane impossible-angle-of-attack series of reversals the enemy use, although they are no problem so long as you maintain superior airspeed.) In one mission there wasn't much action, just shooting down a recon plane when I was expecting bombers. But I discovered some 109s and engaged. I ended up with just one of them, and finally managed tricked him down from the perch he was building with a zoom climb. He could never put me in danger, and despite holing his wings I couldn't manage to land any fatal hits on him. There were a couple other aircraft hanging around and I assumed they were my wingmen. Turned out they were 109s too, apparantly following the guy I was pursuing, and they weren't engaging me, even when I flew so close to one I could have seen whether he'd shaved. I got overconfident and, although I knew I didn't have enough ammo left for three enemies with the shot opportunities I had been getting, abandoned my prey temporarily and tried shooting one down from close quarters. I didn't set up the shot well enough, and ended up with three angry buzzards on my tail! I stalled sharply in a sustained turn and made a good recovery but in the wrong direction, resulting in lots of hits on my LaGG. I baled over friendly territory just after one of the 109s went down--presumably the one I had been pursuing.

Well hope I didn't bore anybody. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

http://www.baseclass.modulweb.dk/69giap/fileadmin/Image_Archive/badges/69giap_badge_chap.jpg (http://giap.webhop.info)

The ongoing IL-2 User's Guide (http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~chapman/il2guide/) | Forgotten Skies (http://www.forgottenskies.com/)
But we are all that way: when we know a thing we have only scorn for other people who don't happen to know it. - Mark Twain, Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc

michapma
08-16-2004, 06:51 AM
I started a new VVS fighter campaign this weekend, starting from June 22, 1941 in the L'vov, and implemented some of the campaign options, which I had never done before. Average flight distance is now set to 25km, avoiding some of those 70km flights (which I enjoy, although it limits campaign progress). I find it is almost too short, but it helps me get through the missions in the time I have. I also chose the number of missions to be Long instead of Very Long, since there often isn't enough variety in the missions to justify 30 missions or whatever per stage of the campaign. I chose my aircraft carefully too: when I get to a certain stage I will be one of the pilots trained to fly the Airacobra. I started out in the I-16, am now in a LaGG-3 and will fly a MiG-3 next. I will be flying various Yaks and Lavochkins in addition to the Airacobras. The more I learn about these aircraft and action on the front, the more alive it becomes, and the more I notice how detailed and historically faithful FB is. I tried to be conservative and not take the newest types as soon as they are available, but wait until I know those aircraft were historically present in significant numbers. I chose not to fly some of the rarer Western aircraft such as the P-40 and Spitfire.

The thing about the dynamic campaign is that the missions are often unimaginative. What helps counter this is that I'm flying with full difficulty (this is one thing TrackIR is definitely good for), which brings a lot of variation into the missions since I often don't understand who is who or what is going on until I'm "up close." I sometimes marvel at how much I have improved in situational awareness, spotting and identifying aircraft, and combat itself. I'm not a great combat pilot, but comparing myself to when I started out I'm far better. I do have the speed bar switched on for aircraft with a poor compass or difficult-to-read airspeed indicator (I also might switch it on to aid in combat if things get tight), and the no instant success is switched off, so that I can accept the outcome of any combat, aside from my own death or capture. I have also started myself as a Maior, so that I can select loadout and not have to follow the leader or fly in formation. (I really have to note the waypoints and target area well.) I even have turned the radio volume all the way down until I get the P-39 in 1943, since it was one of if not the first aircraft the VVS had that used a radio. I don't give wingman commands either unless I judge they are close enough to interpret aircraft signals (wing waggling, etc.) or hand signals, or to tell them to attack fighters or bombers, which could have been agreed upon before the mission. I'm not playing dead is dead, since I have been mostly flying pre-1944 stuff since FB came out, and want to get through the campagin. I have died several times, often from target fixation. Once I overcorrected with rudder on take-off, with the result that my wing collided against the wooden tower. I survived but restarted the mission anyway.

I had a rather fun mission in which our squadron transferred airfields to the south due to the front line movement, but in the rain. Just taking off was a trick with that wind. I took off behind another flight, and followed them in a steeply banked turn right after take-off, because I didn't want to lose sight in the soup--my plan was to follow them to the destination. We went around two full turns before I realized that all of the aircraft were trying to form up on me! So, I took the lead. Visibility was so poor that I had to fly under 700m in order to navigate against the map, and I could do almost nothing else but navigate and keep my ship upright--there is no artificial horizon in the LaGG-3. I followed rivers and forest on the relatively short flight, and spotted the town near the destination airfield, and then the concrete airstrip itself. As I curved around on approach, I saw the smoking remains of an aircraft that had crashed in the woods, and thought an AI had actually stalled out. I put her down fairly gently considering the weather, and taxied to place. As I swung around on the tarmac, I saw tracers, and realized there was a fight going on! Thankfully, no AI had chose me as a target. With the weather and visibility being what it was, I decided I would unlikely be able to take off and find the fight, much less navigate my way safely back to the airfield afterward. I should have tried it though.

Landings are always a big part of the fun on campaigns. I don't know what it is, but I love landings.

So the missions are quite enjoyable, since there is so much variability on full difficulty. As a Maior I take advantage and go off on my own tangents, not fretting about assigned waypoints. (My commanding officer is very understanding as long as I keep getting results.) However, there is a bit of repetition in missions, and the briefings, despite being informative, become terribly dull. Worse, for whatever reason no tracks play on occasion between missions or stages of the war.

I am fairly satisfied with the level of predictability of the AI, and they do surprise me once in a while. (I still hate those insane impossible-angle-of-attack series of reversals the enemy use, although they are no problem so long as you maintain superior airspeed.) In one mission there wasn't much action, just shooting down a recon plane when I was expecting bombers. But I discovered some 109s and engaged. I ended up with just one of them, and finally managed tricked him down from the perch he was building with a zoom climb. He could never put me in danger, and despite holing his wings I couldn't manage to land any fatal hits on him. There were a couple other aircraft hanging around and I assumed they were my wingmen. Turned out they were 109s too, apparantly following the guy I was pursuing, and they weren't engaging me, even when I flew so close to one I could have seen whether he'd shaved. I got overconfident and, although I knew I didn't have enough ammo left for three enemies with the shot opportunities I had been getting, abandoned my prey temporarily and tried shooting one down from close quarters. I didn't set up the shot well enough, and ended up with three angry buzzards on my tail! I stalled sharply in a sustained turn and made a good recovery but in the wrong direction, resulting in lots of hits on my LaGG. I baled over friendly territory just after one of the 109s went down--presumably the one I had been pursuing.

Well hope I didn't bore anybody. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/images/smiley/16x16_smiley-happy.gif

http://www.baseclass.modulweb.dk/69giap/fileadmin/Image_Archive/badges/69giap_badge_chap.jpg (http://giap.webhop.info)

The ongoing IL-2 User's Guide (http://people.ee.ethz.ch/~chapman/il2guide/) | Forgotten Skies (http://www.forgottenskies.com/)
But we are all that way: when we know a thing we have only scorn for other people who don't happen to know it. - Mark Twain, Personal Recollections of Joan of Arc

PBNA-Boosher
08-16-2004, 06:55 AM
Sounds fun! I wish my comp was fast enough to do campaigns. I don't like going downstairs to make movies and play campaigns. Oh well. Maybe after a few months I'll have enough money for a really good comp.

Boosher
_____________________________
"So do all who live to see such times, but that is not for them to decide. All you have to decide is what to do with the time that is given to you..."
-Gandalf

Extreme_One
08-16-2004, 07:01 AM
Great post Mike.
I can relate to much of what you've said - we're not just 'simming' we're role playing too.

Here's to many, many more hours of fun. http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_wink.gif

S! Simon
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BuzZz_WG
08-16-2004, 07:11 AM
Nice story. I'm doing a campaign in an I-16 at the moment and it is great fun. I assume you use Lowengrins dynamic campaign generator instead of the original? I use the one that came with IL-2 but I'm going to try the other one as well.

So far I have a couple of missions completed. 10 kills (some bf-110, bf-109E4 and bf-109F). The stuka's are tough armoured planes, hard to down in a I-16. Especially with their tail-gunners pointing their guns at you.

I notice the I-16 can give a bf-109 quite a fight and a few good shots can convert a bf-109 in a piece of flying metal junk. I'm really enjoying myself offline.

BREAK! BREAK!
Nevermind...

x6BL_Brando
08-16-2004, 07:12 AM
Not only do you have some very daring and immersive flights by the sound of it - you also keep an excellent diary!

Thanks for sharing it

Cheers! http://ubbxforums.ubi.com/infopop/emoticons/icon_smile.gif

FI WILLIE
08-16-2004, 08:25 AM
We have a "Rogue's Tales" at our squadron forum and I wrote this about one of the Russian Yak campaigns that I flew. I've never been a big fan of the YAK. I learned to respect it and enjoy it in that campaign.I still rarely fly them though.

I flew that campaign in about a week's time and had to re-fly one mission when I got hit by an AI shortly after takeoff. Here's the story, hope you enjoy.

<BLOCKQUOTE class="ip-ubbcode-quote"><font size="-1">quote:</font><HR>
24 April, 1945 All is quiet,finally. Your mechanic has produced a bottle of Vodka and a pack of American smokes. You take a bite of the bottle and light up a Lucky. The sun is bright and the wind has a bite. It isn't uncomfortable on the downwind side of your fuselage. It has been an interesting 10 months. Hours of boredom, moments of terror. Sweating profusely in an unheated Yak in the sub zero temps at altitude. An emotional roller coaster ranging from sublime happiness to cold fury. In the past months you have downed 36 enemy aircraft in 23 sorties. You are the highest scoring Officer in your squadron. Your Russian is still deplorable by their standards but they know you can fight. YOu are a Hero Of the Soviet Union with 2 awards to prove it. The remaining Majors in your squadron have flown 3 times as many sorties and have less than a third of your scores.

You joined the squadron because your country refused you. Barely able to speak their language, you fought with them both in the air and on the ground. You proved yourself in their bars and in their air. You showed them you could give as well as take and give as good as you got. There were those in your squadron who hated you. They felt they were better than you. Several of them are dead and missing now. Maybe the missing will surface now that the war is over. Hopefully they were treated better than the prisoners that were captured by us.

Most of the past months are a blur of madness. A few moments stand out starkly. You remember your first flight with the group in a Yak9, engaging a flight of HE-111's and 3 minutes later 4 of them are falling from the sky to your blazing guns. You Watch the flaming hulks hurtle earthward spewing their crews. Parachutes stark white against the background of mud and forrest. It was almost too easy.

2 days and 3 kills later it is you who is slogging through the muck after a forced landing in a field.

24 June of '44, 2 days later with a new plane you take out 3 Me-110G2's and 3 JU-87D5's in 11 furious minutes. The only damage to your Yak was from an idiot wingman who seemed to have a penchant for shooting our YAKS. He was killed in the following mission and not missed by the rest of us.

Your new leader is a jerk. You are tasked as his wingman. He has flown a lot more missions than you and has but one kill. He won't shoot!! He flies "by the book". He will follow the German forever and wait for the perfect shot that never seems to come. YOu take the shots he won't, you get the kills he wishes were his. He dies in a mid air collison with a squadmate. The man he killed was good friend. The friend will be missed, the killer won't.

The squadron is full of new faces now. Only the "old man" has more kills than you. The younger pilots are eager but still do not show much initiative in a fight. Now you fight mostly on your own, you ignore the constant reprimands of "follow your leader". YOU are the leader now. The old man bought it. You are the top gun of the squadron. You fly to shoot down the Germans. Those daring men in their wonderful planes. You notice that the quality of the German pilots is eroding or are you getting better at shooting them down? You wonder what they are thinkin as you fly right up their six to less than 100 mtr and pour a short burst into their plane. You don't have time to wonder what their next move is as it seems there is always another one in front of you. Occasionally there is one behind you, trying to do to you as you have done to so many of his comrades. On ocasion they manage to put some holes in your plane. You are lucky, only once do they do any severe damage. You bring your wounded Yak with no ailerons back to the base and land it. Life goes on..

Several months later and in the new YAK-3 you take on and kill 3 ME-262's in a running 11 minute fight. You wonder why a German would try to dogfight in those sluggards.

In another mission you limp home because you wingman has put 11 holes in your port wing! He laughs about it back at the base. He wasn't laughing after the uppercut you delivered to his chin. He had a glass jaw. He got up vowing revenge. Those who saw it didn't see it. The next day you hang him out to dry and watch him spiral down in flames. YOu could have gotten the attacker off of him sooner if you had wanted to. You take out his attacker and head home. Hopefully you'll get a better wing man.

On your way to Berlin, you hear honest to Dog American voices on the Radio!! A flight of four P-38's is having a hard go with the Germans. You meet one headed toward the base you just left. He has an engine smoking badly and his bird looks like Hell. You don't see or hear the other 3 again. You continue to Berlin and escort the lumbering IL2's to their target. 2 more Germans fall to the furious onslaught of your guns.

Your new wingman is a Major. Long on hours and short on kills. He flies well and fights well. You hold back, covering his six enjoying the show as he pirouettes and dances though the sky. His aim is precise. His Yak explodes in front of you after he scored his 3rd kill of this last day of the war. A lucky shot from an unseen AAA battery. You circle back and strafe it. It is satisfying to see it explode under your guns.

They tell us Hitler is dead. You sit on the wing of your battered YAK enjoying a smoke and take another swig of the fiery vodka. Your mechanic is busty Russian blonde with a fire in her deep blue eyes. You hand her the bottle she takes a long pull and hands it back. She takes your hand, smiles brightly, and beckons you to get off the wing of your plane. You hear music in the distance. She puts her arm around your waist and you light a smoke for her. As you walk with her toward the music you stop and look back at the beat up bird that has protected you throughout these flights, and wonder to yourself, is it time to celebrate?<HR></BLOCKQUOTE>

Virtus Junxit,
Mors Non Separabit.
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(When all else fails, play dead.)
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Aero_Shodanjo
08-16-2004, 09:56 AM
Good read m8.

If I didnt know better, I would think that's a real wartime pilot's diary.

S!

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